It’s pretty hard to name a rat bait as “the best”, because every situation requires a different approach. The type of rats present, their number, the history of the location regarding rat infestation, or the fighting method chosen requires almost every time a different bait with different presentations. So if someone successfully uses peanut butter as bait, there might not be the case three houses down, where a synthetic bait works best.
We’ll try to break down the entire process of baiting into smaller steps, so you can understand how baiting works, and what to apply. I know you thought baiting is as easy as searching the internet and use whatever comes first in results, and that might work, but doing it wrong could bring more trouble than before, aggravating the situation.
Baiting a trap
For any kind of trap you intend to use, prebaiting is the first and most important step. Resist the urge and don’t place the traps as soon as you see a rat. They are shy creatures, and will avoid the traps. Instead place bits of baits, where rats were spotted, or where you suspect they might patrol. Repeat this process as soon as the bait disappears for at least a couple of days.
After this step is complete and rats are feeding regularly, start placing the traps. To find out how to set the traps for maximum efficiency read here. You placed the traps, you baited them but they are not ready to be activated yet. Rats still need to get used with the new objects and feeding around them.
The reason for all this hassle is that rats are extremely shy, and they will only eat new foods if they can smell it on other rats breath. So if you are dealing with a larger number of rats, they need a couple of days for all to accept the food. Speeding up these two steps could alert the rats, and they will refuse to eat presented bait which leads to unsuccessful trapping. Which means money and time lost, and you have to repeat the entire process from the start, but this time with more resilient rats.
Working baits from around the house are peanut butter, stinky cheese such as parmesan, cheddar or emmental, bacon bits, dried fruits, cereals or anything else that you suspect rats are feeding with in that location. Baits don’t have to be edible all the time. Nesting materials such as cardboard or hay could make a perfect bait, but this depends on the time of the year.
For better results keep this in mind:
• Black rats are vegetarians, brown rats are omnivores.
• Rats are inclined to eat a food if they smelled it before in another rat’s breath.
• Rat attractants in small amount are good; in larger amounts they repel rats.
• Place bait near the trap, on the trap, and inside it.
• Use small chunks of baits; don’t worry the rats will smell it.
• Wear rubber gloves when handling traps and baits.
Rat attractants found in commerce have a bad reputation that they are not working as expected. They do work very well, but they don’t have such a wide range of usage as peanut butter for example. They work best in some specific scenarios. For example you have to set your traps outdoors, where ants and bugs will eat the bait in matter of hours. Not the case with the attractants; a food-based gel specifically designed for rat’s sense of smell.
A single drop a penny size would suffice. Very easy to wash it off under hot tap water. If rats already have a stable source of food, they will ignore the attractants because this will be a new food to them.
We recommend Provoke Professional Rat Attractant available on Amazon.
Most of the rat poisons are scented with high attractants. They are normally used without traps, but for better results using complementary traps is advisable. Find more about rat poison here.